Canon acquires 'majority stake' in Harbour IT

Canon Australia's business service unit will be extended as part of the company's acquisition of cloud solutions provider Harbour IT.

Canon Australia has acquired a "majority stake in shareholding" in managed services and cloud solutions provider Harbour IT.

Harbour IT will become part of the Canon Group on October 1, 2014. The Sydney-based company has 180 employees based in five locations across the region, with an expected revenue for FY15 of AU$35 million.

Canon business services director Craig Manson will assume overall leadership for the relationship with Harbour IT, while Canon business services general manager Josh Watts will be appointed to manage the day-to-day "synergies" between the two businesses.

Speaking to ZDNet, Manson said the decision to acquire a stake in Harbour IT will extend Canon Australia's business services unit, which has an annual turnover of AU$330 million.

"The acquisition of shareholding in Harbour IT gives us the ability to strengthen the services and solutions offering, and broaden our customer base. It also gives a really nice skill set," he said.

Manson also noted the acquisition will enable both firms to share cloud-based and managed IT solutions across their respective customer bases, as well as strengthen Canon's end-to-end managed services customer proposition.

"Our traditional devices like your multifunctional copiers that become the on-ramp and off-ramp for our workflow is how we've engaged with our customers. We see the acquisition of Harbour IT as an expansion of that," he said.

Manson revealed while no details about the percentage or value of the acquisition can be disclosed, Canon plans to increase its stake in Harbour IT in the coming years.

As part of the acquisition, Harbour IT will remain a standalone business and brand, with the same management team and structure. The company will also retain its independence and management autonomy, while benefiting from Canon's investment, brand, leadership, and product suite.

Craig Bishop, Harbour IT managing director, added that the company expects to provide complementary product offerings to the Canon business.

"We're extremely excited to be joining the Canon family and feel this is a natural fit and logical next step in our continued growth as a managed IT services and cloud provider in the Australian market," he said.

Harbour IT was the first customer to trial a new flash storage technology provided by Pure Storage last year, and said it had plans to use the technology to create an all-flash storage cloud offering.